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News | Feb. 2, 2022

Troop Support honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during virtual remembrance event

By Mikia Muhammad DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

As the nation celebrated the federal holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Jan. 17, the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support remembered his legacy with a virtual program Jan. 27.

Employees from DLA Troop Support and the Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support participated in the event featuring keynote speaker Civil Rights activist Dr. Joyce Ladner. Ladner is the Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and author of numerous articles and books.

Ladner emphasized King was more than a historical figure immortalized by statues and a national holiday.

“Too often we only honor his legacy one day a year when in fact we should do so throughout,” Ladner said. “Dr. King was, for me and my generation, a living, breathing human being who dedicated his life to fighting for all of us to have rights guaranteed by the Constitution. His legacy is one of resilience and unity.”

Ladner met King in the 1960s as a student at Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi while doing Civil Rights activism.

“In the summer of 1963, I worked on the staff that organized the March on Washington in New York,” Ladner said. “I was all of 19 years old, and my job was to raise money to charter buses so that Black Civil Rights activists and other people in the deep south could come to the march.”

Throughout her presentation, Ladner gave anecdotes of her experiences with King and his impact on the Civil Rights Movement, including his work against poverty.

DLA Troop Support Deputy Director Richard Ellis also highlighted this facet of King’s work during the program.

“Dr. King worked for economic equality, not just civil rights,” Ellis said. “Days before his assassination in 1968, Dr. King organized a march on Washington called the Poor People’s Campaign, which centered around the fundamental ideal that all people should have a chance to live a good life: a job with a living wage, employment training, affordable housing, education and access to health care.”

The day’s event was hosted by the Troop Support Equal Employment Opportunity Office and the NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support EEO Advisory Committees.

DLA employees can view the event here.